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Dissolve parallel task force in Rivers, National Assembly caucus tells Buhari, IGP

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State withdraws suit against Caverton Helicopters pilots, passengers
A caucus of National Assembly members of Rivers State extraction has condemned the establishment of a parallel task force in the state, describing it as an invitation to anarchy.

The lawmakers charged President Muhammadu Buhari and Inspector General of Police (IGP), Mohammed Adamu, to dissolve the parallel task force.

Speaking at a joint media briefing, leaders of the caucus, George Sekibo and House of Representatives member, Kingsley Chinda, stated that the police action was unacceptable.

According to them, “The development is sour and highly confrontational, not only to the authorities of the Rivers State Government, but also to the people and residents.

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“It is essentially, antithetical to and a reversal of the aims and purposes of the COVID-19 inter-state lockdown and measures to curb the pandemic. It is in this regard that we join the Rivers State Council of Traditional Rulers to request the IGP to reconsider the action.

“We run a Federal system of government and cannot afford to have two chief executives in Rivers State at the same time. That will be a clear invitation to anarchy.”

The lawmakers said their position was informed by the fact that the Rivers State Commissioner of Police (CP), John Mukan, acting under the IGP’s instructions, set up a parallel Task Force in the guise of a Technical Committee to ensure movement of agricultural products and other essential items in the state; a committee charged with the determination of who comes into Rivers State during the lockdown period.

They said in the last 48 hours, the police action has been trending, adding, “We had expected the IGP to deny the report, but since he has not, it is well to hold that the action was actually his effort and hence this media briefing.”

Calling on President Buhari to reverse the trend, the lawmakers appeal to the President to call the IGP and the Rivers CP to order, by restraining them from establishing a parallel government in Rivers State.

Meanwhile, the Rivers State government has withdrawn its suit against the two pilots of Caverton Helicopters Limited and the 10 passengers who flouted the state executive order on COVID-19.

Commissioner of Information and Communications, Paulinus Nsirim, said the Attorney General withdrew and discontinued the two charges (PMC/532C/2020 and PMC/533C/2020) preferred against the pilots of Caverton Helicopters and their 10 passengers aboard.

Consequent on the withdrawal of the matter, the presiding Chief Magistrate, D. D. Ihua-Maduenyi, therefore, struck out the charges and discharged the defendants.

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